The body of a young, African-American woman that was found on a beach in Brooklyn over the weekend has been identified. New York City police have confirmed that remains discovered on Sunday next to the remnants of a bofire in Gerritsen Beach are those of Shaniesha Forbes, 14.
Forbes’ naked body was found face-up near the shoreline at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday. Her arms, hands and legs were burned. Medical examiners have ruled out exposure to fire as the cause of the teen’s death, because no smoke was found in her lungs, New York’s Daily News reports. The cause of her death has not been released, and is still under investigation. At this time, her death has not been ruled a homicide.
“I want someone to please speak up,” Shanah Forbes, the sister of the deceased, told the News. “She didn’t deserve this.”
Forbes was a freshman at the Academy for Young Writers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and lived in the East Flatbush neighborhood of the borough. Family members told the press that she had run away from home on at least one previous occasion. Forbes was last seen on Friday at 8 a.m. after stating that she was leaving for school.
“She was 14 years old; she was just a child,” a cousin of the victim told The New York Times. “We are devastated right now. No one thinks this will happen to their family.”
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.